Your Search for a New Laptop – Top Tips

10.07.2021

Your Search for a New Laptop – Top Tips

When you have given yourself the green light to go ahead and look for a new laptop, you are about to embark on a fun project – if you let it be fun that is. I am embarking on this journey right now as our old laptop is barely hanging on.

Here are a few tips that I’ve been learning.

Put in some leg work

In the same way you would not walk into a property search without looking into the neighborhood, local services, and the local property market, do some prep before you set about on your search for a new laptop. If you tend to get stuck in the research part though, give yourself a time limit.

Establish a budget, and then work backwards from that to hone in on the best laptop to suit your needs.

Mid-range laptop options

Because of your budget, some of your decisions will already be made for you. But you can be smart with what you have to spend. Even on the lower end of the laptop market, options such as Chromebooks give users the ability to surf the net, watch SD movies and handle their life admin for as little as a few hundred dollars. I am amazed how even the low end ones are better than higher end ones were a few years ago.

Many mid-range laptop options run Windows operating systems. They usually come built-in with tools from the Microsoft 365 suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other useful applications for home and work.

The best place to start after establishing your budget is to remind yourself of the main things you plan to do with your new PC. As for all things in the simplifying world, intention is where we curate and decide what is important. This will help you decide whether you place more stock in a lightweight device or a larger screen for instance. Think about how often your PC travels with you, or whether it tends to stay in once place on your desk. Do you need a big graphics card for gaming or design? Or will a tablet do for mainly reading and social media?

You should also think about your data backup strategy. Are you comfortable backing up all your family’s photos in the cloud, or do you plan to save them on local storage such as flash drives? If the latter, look for a laptop with plenty of ports to enable you to connect this and any other peripherals you plan to add. This can include second screens, mice, keyboards, chargers or WiFi boosters. If you have a digital camera, make sure you are able to connect it to your new laptop.

Think about the software you plan to run

Lower-end cheap laptops for sale (link for my Aussie readers) can be limited with the amount of applications they can effectively run. If most of your work is centered around a few pieces of software you may be fine with the Chrome OS for instance.

However, if you rely on a more advanced suite of tools and applications, then a Windows PC is likely to be the best choice for you. Trying to juggle your work between Google Docs and Microsoft Word may seem simple, but could quickly become burdensome if you have to keep making the transition. And if you love your Mac, you may be more comfortable with a Macbook. (But, I am not a Mac user, so can’t help you there.)

What are the good and bad points of your chosen laptops?

Ideally, get yourself into a store to see a display model of your shortlisted options. You can check out the quality of the build, how you like the screen resolution, and the other technical aspects of the device.

With Windows PCs it is always good to know that you can upgrade the machine’s processing power if you need to. On the other hand, MacBooks can be fully integrated with iPhones and iPads, meaning existing iOS users may choose to stay with Apple for ease of use.

That said, make sure you always keep your budget in mind. A bargain is only a bargain if you can afford it.

Go for it!

When you have done some research, it’s time to make your move. Validate your final choice by checking out some reviews. There may be something you have missed, or a defect such as lower battery life than advertised. Small details like this can make or break a user’s experience with a laptop. 

Think more about the things that will matter to you every time you use your device. What has annoyed you about past laptops? What are you used to that you want to have? Since you haven’t rushed the process and know your intentions, let this decision be good enough. Enjoy your new laptop!

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Pix by Kari Shea

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